The four estates

posted 21 December 2004

Your little trivia byte for today: what are the four estates? Well, originally there were three estates: the first estate was the clergy, the second estate the nobility, and the third estate the commoners. The fourth estate is the press, and was coined in 1837, reflecting their increasing prominence and power.

Maybe you knew all that before, but it's the first time I ever heard any of those terms. Just doing my bit to get EPIC going and kill the fourth estate for good.

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Shame-based education

posted 21 December 2004

Feel like getting angry? Then I recommend you read this Washington Post article on what a review of the curricula of those abstinence-only sex education programs that President Bush is so hot on are really teaching children. It starts off horrifyingly:

Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," a congressional staff analysis has found.

travels quickly through inflammatory:

"I have no objection talking about abstinence as a surefire way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases," Waxman said. "I don't think we ought to lie to our children about science. Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts."

takes a quick break at exasperating:

Congress first allocated money for abstinence-only programs in 1999, setting aside $80 million in grants, which go to a variety of religious, civic and medical organizations. To be eligible, groups must limit discussion of contraception to failure rates.

and then pulls in to a stop at offensive:

Some course materials cited in Waxman's report present as scientific fact notions about a man's need for "admiration" and "sexual fulfillment" compared with a woman's need for "financial support." One book in the "Choosing Best" series tells the story of a knight who married a village maiden instead of the princess because the princess offered so many tips on slaying the local dragon. "Moral of the story," notes the popular text: "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."

It's even more ridiculous that the book had to spell out the fucking moral of the story, in case the average american teen is too fucking dumb to notice a metaphor when he's whacked over the head with it repeatedly.

Now go out and hurt somebody, preferably a Republican.

P.S. I finally fixed the timestamp on my RSS feed.

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